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Public comes out to benefit for man battling cancer

April 17, 2017

PLATTE CENTER — Your family and friends are always there for you.

Bill Streblow saw that firsthand recently during a benefit for him at the Platte Center Auditorium.

The son of Randy and Renee Streblow of the Humphrey-Tarnov area and a graduate of Humphrey High School in 2000 is recovering from testicular cancer.

Proceeds from the free-will donation, bake sale, silent auction and split the pot are helping defray medical expenses.

Streblow and his wife, Michelle, and their 4-year-old daughter, Grace, made the 20-hour drive to Platte Center from their home in Rogers City, Mich. Treatment and surgeries kept him off work for about six weeks with little income.

His aunts, Judy Denton, Jolene Oltmanns and Susan Hellbusch, organized the benefit.

Streblow was diagnosed with testicular cancer Aug. 18, 2016, after noticing a lump. His right testicle was surgically removed Aug. 31, 2016, the day before his 35th birthday.

He was sent to the University of Michigan Medical Center to have his lymph nodes removed from his abdominal area, but his tumor numbers escalated, and surgery was postponed and chemotherapy ordered in mid-November 2016.

Treatments continued until late January, and now he is recovering.

“It (chemotherapy) wiped it (the cancer) out, and three weeks after my last cycle of chemo, they did a check up, and they noticed one lymph node was right around the 2 centimeter mark, and they like to have it at 1 centimeter. They were worried about that one lymph node, whether there was active cancer or not,” he said.

That sent him back to the University of Michigan Medical Center in March to have the abdominal lymph nodes surgically removed. A biopsy removed 45 lymph nodes, and all tested negative for cancer.

“It was a good diagnosis. No more treatments, surgeries or anything like that,” he said.

The only procedure left is to have the port removed where he was receiving chemotherapy.

Within the first year, he’ll have checkups every three months and then every six months for the next four years.

“I feel great,” he said. “I’ll be back to work full time this Tuesday.”

Bill is an on-site technician for Michigan Cat at the limestone quarry.

Feeling healthy is a far cry from hearing the word cancer and then having to tell his wife.

“I was beside myself. My wife kept assuring me that this type of testicular cancer is one of the more treatable cancers,” he said.

For Michelle, there was no option but to try and stay positive.

“You can either sit there and wallow or you can try to keep moving forward,” she said.

The family, friends and community that have rallied around them has touched the Streblows.

“This is very overwhelming. The support and everything, it’s very humbling that so many people would come together for one family,” Streblow said.

Michelle said, “It’s very nice to know that when something happens like this, you’re not alone, you’re surrounded. All of a sudden a community rises up, and they just surround you and support you, and whatever you need, they’re there.”

“Even though I’m a thousand miles away now, we still have that support,” Streblow said.